Clampdown on alcohol licences in Ilford Lane agreed
PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 September 2020
Plans to clamp down on alcohol licences in Ilford Lane will come into effect on November 1, in response to continued complaints of anti-social behaviour in the area.
Two major changes in the licensing policy were agreed in a virtual council meeting on Thursday, September 24.
The first will see an expansion of the Ilford town centre “cumulative impact zone” (CIZ) to cover the entirety of Ilford Lane, as well as part of the High Road.
This means new licences or significant changes to existing ones within the zone will be refused unless the applicant can demonstrate they will not worsen the area’s problems.
The second concerns the borough’s other two operational CIZs, in Gants Hill and South Woodford.
It was decided that, although both remain necessary to manage the risk of anti-social behaviour, each will reduce in size.
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The issues in Ilford Lane are elaborated upon in the policy statement: “There is a proliferation of late night refreshment premises and off licences operating late at night in this area, which has contributed to issues such as street drinking, public nuisance, prostitution, litter, crime and disorder.”
This new policy — to run for the next five years — was collectively welcomed, with Cllr Howard Berlin (Con, Fairlop) dubbing it a “great example of cross-party working”.
He paid tribute to Cllr Namreen Chaudhry (Lab, Goodmayes), thanking her for her work chairing the licensing committee, which agreed the policy on September 2.
Cllr Ross Hatfull (Labour, Valentines) described the Ilford CIZ expansion as “an excellent move”, adding that it was a perfect example of “the council listening to residents”.
Plans to introduce a Late Night Levy, an annual fee applicable to all licensed premises between midnight and 6am, will not go ahead.
In its policy statement the council acknowledged that such a levy would impact everyone, and “not affect only the premises contributing the most to late-night crime and disorder”.
This decision was applauded by both Cllr Ruth Clark (Con, Fairlop) and Cllr Anne Marie Sachs (Lab, Chadwell) in the meeting.
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